The Pittsburgh Penguins crushed a withering Philadelphia Flyers 7-1 in a Sunday matinee, climbing back to within a point of the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference leading New Jersey Devils. It was the second consecutive 7-goal game for the Penguins who continue to play without the services of Captain Sidney Crosby who has been sidelined with a sore ankle. Evgeni Malkin resumed his on-ice domination and picked up 4-points (2G, 2A) to back pull within 2-points of NHL scoring leader Alexander Ovechkin. Petr Sykora also netted 4-points (2G, 2A) and Marian Hossa returned to the ice with 2-points (1G, 1A) while goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 of 25 Flyers shots on goal.
In the 1st period, the Penguins picked up 2-goals on just 4-shots as the Flyers outshot them 6-4. The first goal came at 4:33 on a seemingly impossible backhand by Evgeni Malkin that beat Flyers’ goaltender Martin Biron. The goal, Malkin’s 40th of the season, was assisted by Petr Sykora. Then at 8:38, it was Petr Sykora’s turn as he notched his 24th of the year. Pascal Dupuis and Evgeni Malkin picked up the assists on the play. The Penguins killed off 3 short-handed situations in the first for penalties to the bench (too many men), Ryan Whitney (roughing) and Petr Sykora (hi-sticking). Ryan Malone also took a matching 5-minute fighting major for a tilt with Riley Cote.
In the 2nd period, the Penguins added to their total at 4:15 as Tyler Kennedy backhanded his 10th of the year past Biron to make it 3-0. Max Talbot and Hal Gill assisted on the play, which chased Biron from the net in favor of Antero Nittymaki. Then at 12:43, Mike Knuble got the Flyers on the board as he tipped in a Patrick Thoresen shot past Marc-Andre Fleury. The Penguins bounced back just 2-minutes later as Evgeni Malkin put in his 41st of the season past Nittymaki to make it 4-1. Petr Sykora and Ryan Malone picked up the assists on the Malkin goal. Then just 31-seconds later, Marian Hossa made his presence felt in Pittsburgh as he snapped a shot that beat Nittymaki and realistically put the game out of reach for the Flyers at 5-1. Sergei Gonchar and Pascal Dupuis picked up the assists. The Penguins outshot the Flyers 16-9 in the 2nd and were 0-for-2 on the powerplay.
In the 3rd period, the Penguins continued to punish the Flyers as Petr Sykora put up his 25th goal on a feed from Evgeni Malkin and Ryan Malone. At 16:38, the Penguins punctuated the win on a goal by lumbering defenseman Hal Gill. his 3rd of the season. Pascal Dupuis and Marian Hossa picked up the assists. The Penguins dominated the 3rd, outshooting the Flyers 16-4. The Penguins failed to connect on 3-power play opportunities.
- VIDEO: Game Highlights
- VIDEO: Post-Game Press Conference w/Coach Therrien
- VIDEO: Post-Game Locker Room Interviews w/Marian Hossa, Pascal Dupuis, Brooks Orpik, Marc-Andre Fleury
- PHOTOS: In-Game Photos
- AUDIO: Mike Lange Highlights
- AUDIO: Post-Game Rink Rat Report
- AUDIO: Post-Game Hotline
- NHL OFFICIAL: Rosters
- NHL OFFICIAL: Game Summary
- NHL OFFICIAL: Boxscore
- NHL OFFICIAL: Play-by-Play
Evgeni Malkin and Petr Sykora bothe had 4-points (2G, 2A). “I had a good game,” Malkin said. “Hopefully, I’m going to keep getting points.” Pascal Dupuis continued his very strong play picking up 3-assists. Marian Hossa and Hal Gill both had 2-points (1G, 1A) and scored their first goals since being traded to Pittsburgh last month. Ryan Malone picked up 2-points (2A). Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 24 shots and is 4-1-1 in his last six starts.
The Penguins travel to New York to take on the Rangers on Tuesday night. The Penguins are chasing the New Jersey Devils for the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference Titles. Both teams have 10-games left on the season and the Penguins trail by just a point. The Penguins will match up with the Devils this coming Saturday and again the following Tuesday in what will likely be 2-games that will decide who wins the Atlantic Division and possibly the Eastern Conference. The Penguins are tied in points with the Montreal Canadiens, but have a game in hand and have 1-more win than the Canadiens. The Penguins also have a game in hand against the Ottawa Senators who trail the Penguins by 2-points.